RPG Pick #30: Elite and Oolite

“So you want to fly your space ship to the next star sytem?” the game master said. “Then go sit at the controls and go do it.” He ushered me to the Amiga computer and switched it on.

It started to load ELITE, a spaceflight trading and shooting game. Fortunately I knew the game well, and it was fun to see it integrated into a gaming session. It gave the student room we were playing in the feel of an actual space ship for a moment. I steered the sleek machine toward its target when we were surprised by pirates.

“You are the gunner” the game master said to a fellow player. “Go help him!” And my fellow pressed the fire button until we killed them all. It was fun then. A good gimmick.

I tried to do the same thing later, but not with the same success. Still, I do wonder sometimes if we could not integrate a computer game and a paper and pen role playing game more like this. The tough thing would be to match the computer universe and the storyline. And then I don't exactly mean like in an MMO. Because that's different. The computer becomes dominant there. What would happen if the face to face game would be dominant instead? Think about it.

Want to have a look at ELITE (again)? The coding by Dave Braben and Ian Bell was so ingenuous, they crammed a full game and complete universe onto a singe density floppy. But sound was pretty crappy in most versions, and a lot of time passed since 1984.

OOLITE is the open source remake you may like better. Its reviews were rave. And you can even build your own expansions. Maybe here's a way to integrate your own adventures after all. You can download it here, and start wishing you could connect a joystick to your webbook.

Or you may have forgotten the controls like I have. You can find these here or here.

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